Montana State Tops Eastern, 3-1
Chenoa Coviare records season-high 16 kills on .414 hitting, but Eagle errors spoil chance at victory
For the second game in a row, the Eastern Washington University volleyball team was plagued by unforced errors, as it fell to Montana State 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23) on Saturday (Sept. 18) in Bozeman, Mont. The Eagles recorded more kills, assists, digs and aces than the Bobcats, but could not manage its miscues, tallying 30 attack errors, compared to 21 for the home team. The Eagles fall to 1-10 on the season and 0-2 in Big Sky play, while MSU evens its overall and conference record at 6-6 and 1-1, respectively.
"Once again, we were ahead in every statistic but our hitting efficiency," said EWU head coach Miles Kydd. "We absolutely have to pass the ball better in order to run our offense effectively, and we struggled to do that tonight. It seemed we were playing jittery, and our ball control suffered as a result."
Senior Chenoa Coviare recorded a season-high 16 kills, while only committing four errors in her 29 attempts. She also contributed three blocks, bringing her point total to 17.5, which was the most tallied by all players in the match. Senior Jacque Brown earned her second-straight double-double, as she had 10 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore Shelby Puckett chipped in 12 kills, which marks the fourth game in a row the Latah, Wash., native has hit in double-digits. Junior libero Lindsey Petroni was busy in the back court, as she picked up 23 of Eastern's 63 total digs.
Eastern jumped out to a quick 8-1 advantage in the first set after Puckett served up back-to-back aces, followed by two powerful kills from Coviare. The Eags never looked back, rolling to a 25-18 victory. Eastern held MSU to .068 hitting in the first set, while also capitalizing on four service errors by the Bobcats.
Montana State worked out the kinks in the second set, though, as it recorded its best hitting percentage of the night at .270. There were seven ties and four lead changes in the second set, but MSU was able to rattle off six-consecutive kills late in the game, giving the home team a 23-19 edge. Eastern answered with two kills off the hands of Puckett and senior Allison Reinstein, which forced Montana State's head coach Sara Schaub to call a timeout. Despite a big block by Cook and Coviare, MSU's Sarah Horton and Jennifer Lundquist were able to put away two kills coming out of the break, sealing the 25-23 victory for the Bobcats.
MSU held EWU to a .126 attack percentage between the third and fourth sets, while also tallying 10 of its 12 total blocks in the final two sets.
Horton led the Bobcats with 12 kills, followed by junior Rachelle Allen, who chipped in 11. Allen also contributed a team-leading 20 digs, while sophomore setter Jennifer Lundquist had 33 assists.
After 11 consecutive games on the road, Eastern will finally make its home debut on Friday, Sept. 24 when they host conference-foe Idaho State at 7 p.m. at Reese Court.